Change of Course

In her recent memoir Change of Course, Regina Petra Meyer recounts her journey into the world of sailing and how it led her to the Caribbean.

05 July 2022


Born and raised in Switzerland, Regina Petra Meyer had always felt an itch for a life that expanded beyond the limiting horizons of the surrounding Alps in Switzerland.

In her mid 30s and settled in Australia, she was confronted with an existence that felt stifled. Restless and questioning the lifespan of her long-term relationship, Meyer was unable to quash the insatiable wanderlust within.

“A haunting emptiness was threatening to swallow me; there was a pain that I couldn’t yet identify,” she writes.

“Something wasn’t right, but though I tried, I was failing to understand what it was, or the meaning of my life. Who was I and what was my purpose?”

With her passion for sailing ignited by her father when she was just ten years old, the pull of the deep blue sea had never drifted far from her mind.


With the promise of freedom, simplicity and most of all, adventure – Meyer booked herself a one-way ticket to the Caribbean.

Joining the crew of a small, vintage racing yacht was just the beginning of Meyer’s thrilling expedition as a sea gypsy sailing to exotic locations.

“I loved feeling the wind push our boat relentlessly through the bumpy seas,” Meyer writes.

“It was breathtaking to witness the waves splashing over the bow, washing all the way back to the cockpit, smashing into our faces and drenching us entirely. I had never felt quite as alive.”

While her first experience onboard the yacht Zephyr didn’t quite see her sailing the high seas as planned. This marked a turning point and Meyer was faced with life-altering decisions.

Embracing the winds of change, she began to carve out a new life, an existence that was as wild and untamed as the seas on which she sailed and one that unearthed buried emotions and bore valuable lessons.

“I have always been a spontaneous and gut driven person, but never before did I venture quite as far out of my comfort zone.”

Learning to sail gave Meyer a new skill and confidence; it allowed her to explore the world via the oceans.

Crewing on a sailing yacht gives people the opportunity to travel the globe on a shoestring or even turn yachting into a professional career. Meyer elaborates on her experience as a sea gypsy and navigating the challenges and perks of a male dominated industry.

Immersed in a tiny community in Antigua and without the convenience of running water or electricity, Meyer adapted to a simpler life.

As the only white resident in the local village, Meyer, for the first time, found herself in the minority and was confronted with questions surrounding race and her own privilege.

Brave and uncompromising, Meyer’s book tells the story of a woman’s passion for living life to the full. It’s about chasing dreams, finding and losing love and the search for meaning, all while staying true to yourself.

Meyer has lived and worked in New Zealand, Antigua in the Caribbean and the US, and now calls Australia home.

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